12th JS polls held amid low voter turnout
Polls marked by irregularities, clashes
2 people dead, BNP, allies enforce hartal
AL : 210 , Independent : 33, JaPa : 8 , Kallyan Party : 1
Special Correspondent : Bangladesh Awami League led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to be elected for the fourth time in a row in the much discussed and criticized 12th National Parliament Election which was boycotted by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Out of 299 constituencies, the AL nominated candidates including AL president Sheikh Hasina, who contested with the party poll symbol the boat won 210 parliamentary seats till the reports was filed at 12:30:pm while Independent candidates bagged 33 seats, Jatiya Party candidates including party chairman GM Quader 8 and Kallyan Party 1 seat.
The voting in the 12th parliamentary election concluded on Sunday afternoon amid allegations of irregularities including ballot stuffing and sporadic violence in different parts of the country, leaving two people dead in Munshiganj and Cumilla and a number of people injured.
The polling that began at 8:00 am concluded at 4pm without any break amid tight security in 299 out of the country’s 300 constituencies. The counting of votes started immediately after the end of voting.
Voting was postponed in three polling centers due to violence, capturing of polling stations and ballot stuffing.
Talking to reporters, Chief Election Commissioner HabibulAwal said that the voters turnout was around 40 per cent.
He said he is not thinking about voter turnout and his job is to arrange the elections.
Meanwhile, Election Commission Secretary Jahangir Alam on Sunday said 27.15 % votes were cast till 3 pm on Sunday.
He shared this information at a press conference held at the Agargaon Election Commission (EC) building.
Of the total vote, 25 percent votes were cast in Dhaka, 27% in Chattogram, 32% in Khulna, 22% in Sylhet, 29 % in Mymensingh, 26% in Rajshahi, 26 % in Rangpur and 31% in Barishal, he said.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cast her vote at Dhaka City College in the capital this morning.
Our correspondents from Dhaka and different districts including Dinajpur, Chattogram, Bhola, Chapainawabganj and Khulna reported low voter turnout in the morning.
Lower-than-expected voter turnout was also observed in Cumilla, Bagerhat, Barishal and Habiganj in the first half of the election day.
A supporter of the Awami League candidate was stabbed to death allegedly by supporters of the independent candidate at Tengor in Mirkadim of Munshiganj’sSadarupazilayesterday morning.
Besides, Noab Ali, 60, a supporter of Awami League-candidate for Cumilla-4 Razee Mohammad Fakhrul was found dead near a polling centre at Kasharikhola in Debidwarupazila of Cumilla district on Sunday.
In Chattogram-10 constituency, two people were shot in a clash between supporters of Awami League candidate and independent candidate at Kalshi-Pahartali area.
Meanwhile, a clash broke out between police and BNP activists in the Chandgaon area of Chattogram city this morning after leaders and activists of the opposition party tried to bar voters from casting their votes.
Four people, including a child, were injured as two crude bombs exploded in front of BattalaJamiaAnwarulUloom Madrasa at HazaribaghBattala in the capital around 11:30 am.
Crude bomb explosion was reported at a polling centre in Jashore an hour before voting began that injured a member of Bangladesh Ansar.
Clashes were reported from Barishal-5 constituency as well.
Voting at a polling centre in Narsingdi-4 constituency (Monohardi-Belabo) was cancelled amid allegations of irregularities.
Returning Officer DrBadiulAlam said the voting was cancelled due to allegations of ballot-stuffing.
Meanwhile, balloting at two polling stations under Narsingdi-3 constituency in Shibpurupazila of Narsingdi district was cancelled over allegations of stuffing ballots and attacking the presiding officer and snatching ballot boxes.
The two polling centers are-VT Chinadi Government Primary School and DulalpurFazilMadrasha in Shibpurupazila.
Allegations of ballot-stuffing was reported from Cumilla-4 (Debidwar) as supporters of Awami League were accused of stamping the boat symbol on ballot papers.
Meanwhile, two candidates in Mymensingh’sGafargaon constituency and one candidate of Jatiya Party in Narsingdi-2 have boycotted the election alleging irregularities.
Two independent candidates in Mymensingh’sGafargaon constituency announced to boycott the election alleging vote rigging and irregularities.
Independent candidate Abul Hossain Dipu with ‘Eagle’ symbol and ‘Truck’ symbol candidate Kaiser Ahmed said they boycotted the voting as the polling agents of most of the polling centres in 15 unions and municipal areas of the upazila were driven out of the polling centers.
Meanwhile, RakiqulAlamSelim, the Jatiya Party candidate for the Narsingdi-2 constituency, has withdrawn from the election, citing irregularities.
Meanwhile, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General RuhulKabir Rizvi on Sunday alleged that the ballot boxes were stuffed at night even in the one-sided election.
“The lopsided election is being held today. There are no voters at the polling stations,” he said.
Speaking at a brief rally near Kurmitola Bus Stand area, he said people have rejected the dummy election.
Some 1,970 candidates, including 436 independent contenders, are running in the general election.
Out of 44 political parties registered with the Election Commission, 16 are out of the electoral race.
There are 11,93,33,157 voters – 6,05,92,169 male, 5,87,40,140 female and 848 transgender – under 42,024 polling stations in the constituencies, according to the EC.
Some eight lakh security personnel are on election duty to maintain the electoral atmosphere by checking violation of codes of conduct throughout the country.
On November 15, 2023, Chief Election Commissioner KaziHabibulAwal announced the schedule to hold the 12th general election on January 7, 2024.
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